The Tampa Bay Times

It’s not often we think of tarpon fishing around here in November.  This year has been an exception.  We’ve observed tarpon rolling or free jumping on nearly every kingfish trip along our gulf beaches.  A diehard tarpon fishing buddy of mine jumped five and released a couple last weekend while soaking bottom baits on a spot just south of the Gandy Bridge .  Others have been reported at the Skyway Bridge and the Gandy too.  Unseasonably warm water temperature is why they’ve lingered longer.  Kingfishing has been inconsistent.  On a trip this week we caught ten kings and a handful of mackerel.  Two days later went back, never had a kingfish bite, only mackerel.  Traditionally, this time of year with as much bait tucked up to the beach from the recent easterly wind flow, a wave of kings will often settle in for days.  Just now with the water temperature flirting with the seventies is likely what we’ve needed to pull the masses of kings our way.  Few things are for sure when it comes to fishing.  If you want to see some big kingfish it’s a safe bet you will at this afternoon’s (Saturday) Old Salt “King of the Beach” weigh-in and awards ceremony at the Madeira Beach Complex.  It’s a party and everyone’s welcome.  Bring the whole family, it’s free.  They’ve got a bunch of local food vendors, a boat showcase, marine, arts and crafts vendors and even a kid zone with a splash pad.  Come find out who’ll be crowned this falls’ king.